South Downs National Park in Hampshire reopens as government's lockdown guidance is relaxed

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WALKERS can return to a beloved conservation area tomorrow, after government guidelines on lockdown were eased.

The South Downs National Park, covering 1,627 square kilometres from Hampshire to East Sussex, was shut to travelling visitors in March when quarantine measures were introduced in the UK.

Now, following the prime minister’s address to the nation on Sunday evening, the national park will reopen tomorrow, but social distancing will still be enforced.

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The South Downs National Park was closed when lockdown measures were introduced.The South Downs National Park was closed when lockdown measures were introduced.
The South Downs National Park was closed when lockdown measures were introduced. | Other 3rd Party

Trevor Beattie, chief executive of the South Downs National Park Authority, is urging people to avoid hotspots and popular areas of the park, with people's safety being the top priority.

He said: ‘We understand this remains a very testing time for people and many will want to access the national park for all its health and wellbeing benefits.

‘Our absolute priority remains the safety of our visitors as well as the 117,000 people living and working within the national park.

‘For now, we ask you to please continue to exercise as close as possible to home. If you are visiting the national park, please follow the government guidelines to keep yourself safe by continuing strict social distancing and avoiding hotspots or popular spots.’

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Visitors are also instructed to keep on the paths and take their litter home to avoid disturbing nesting grounds and other wildlife.

Hampshire and Sussex Police will be carrying out regular patrols and fines will be issued to those who flout the government’s instructions, the authority has warned.

For more information go to southdowns.gov.uk.

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